Essential lockdown interview tips

Are there green shoots in the job market? It’s probably too early to tell the speed at which we may bounce back but, after the initial deep freeze, there are some signs of employers starting to think about hiring.

Your key priority of course, if you’re considering a move, is to enhance your likelihood of being offered an interview. You can do this by producing a great CV and LinkedIn profile and an effective job search strategy.

However, where in a more buoyant market you might have hoped for interest from a number of employers and even some helpful interview practice, the next few months are unlikely to offer that luxury.

So if you have the offer of an interview, more than ever you will want to maximise your chances of getting to the next stage.

Here is Prism’s seven point interview plan, with helpful cross-reference links to our range of articles:

1. Preparation for the interview is key

A Glassdoor survey revealed that 88% of hiring decision-makers believe “an informed candidate is a quality candidate.” Ensure you have done your homework .

2. First impressions count

A cliché but true: 33% of interviewers claimed to know whether they were going to hire someone in the first 90 seconds. This may not seem fair but is as true of video interviews (e.g. Zoom, Microsoft Teams etc.) as face-to-face interviews.

There is much advice and guidance available on this topic including our own Zoom/video tips but the key points to consider are around your initial presentation and impact .

3. Questions and answers

Consider your answers to likely interview questions and how to show your suitability for the consultancy role. Also have a few questions of your own, although nothing which could indicate a lack of preparation! Clear interest and enthusiasm is very important.

4. Look into the camera, not just at the screen

There is more on this in our video tips guide but it is one of the key adjustments that are required for this medium.  There is a particular problem with some Apple kit which has the camera on the side rather than above the screen which makes it look as if you’re very distracted by something off to one side!

5. Body language

Take care with posture and body language (e.g. avoid arms folded across chest): this is easy to get wrong on video calls.

6. Avoid verbosity

Avoid excessively lengthy answers, as it can be more difficult in a video interview for the interviewer to retain focus or politely interject if you’re drifting off the question. Keep to the point. Similarly, beware of over-explaining why you left your last job or want to move: keep it brief unless the interviewer wants a deep delve.

7. Etiquette

A video meeting invitation may include the interviewer’s email address. While not essential, it is generally considered a good idea to thank them for their time and make clear your continued interest, in a warm message. Proper grammar, no typos! This applies whether the meeting was a result of direct contact or via an agency. Don’t expect a reply and don’t be concerned by a lack of response.

Elsewhere on our website you will find more advice and resources to help with your career planning, job search and interview preparation.

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